Swiss aviation battery provider H55 breaks ground on Canadian headquarters in Saint-Hubert

By Dayna Fedy-MacDonald | October 12, 2023

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 23 seconds.

H55’s groundbreaking ceremony at Saint-Hubert took place on Oct. 11, 2023. H55 Photo

H55, a Swiss developer of electric propulsion and battery management systems, has broken ground on construction of its Canadian facility, located at Saint-Hubert Airport (CYHU) in the greater Montreal area.

The event, which took place on Oct. 11, not only marks a milestone in H55’s commitment to the Canadian market, but also underscores the company’s dedication to its ongoing global expansion efforts. The Saint-Hubert facility will serve as the headquarters for H55’s Canadian subsidiary, H55 Inc.

Founded and led by the former Solar Impulse management team, H55 is dedicated to developing certified electric propulsion and battery management systems tailored to a range of aircraft to make air travel more sustainable. Initially, the company’s goal is to convert existing aircraft to electric with its products. Currently, its core product is the Electric Storage System (ESS), which “includes battery packs, battery management systems, and all interfaces with the electric propulsion system.”

H55’s mission “aligns seamlessly with the strategies of both the Canadian federal and Quebec provincial governments to accelerate the growth of clean aviation,” the company said in a press release.

In early 2023, the Canadian government announced a $10 million interest-free loan to H55 — through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative — to support the development of the company’s Saint-Hubert facility.

H55’s Canadian subsidiary, H55 Inc., will work closely with its existing Canadian customers, including Pratt & Whitney Canada, CAE, and Harbour Air, for product development, customization, and customer support. The facility, equipped with a “state-of-the-art production line,” is set to initiate battery pack production in 2024.

Integration of H55 Energy Storage System (batteries) within an aircraft’s wing. Anna Pizzolante Photo

“This new facility will be the birthplace of innovations that will redefine the industry,” said Martin Larose, who was appointed CEO of H55 in February. “Saint-Hubert is a strategic location for H55’s operations and will be the home to our battery production serving our Canadian customers. This new facility will also include product development and customer integration support, and will play a crucial role in our company’s ambitions in bringing clean aviation solutions to the North American market.”

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by numerous H55 stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, senior government officials, and members of the local community.

Speaking at the event, Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez emphasized the importance of investing in scientific innovation in the aeronautics sector, stating, “We are ensuring we can continue to cultivate the expertise we have acquired in Quebec while also supporting the development of technologies that will help us accelerate our transition to green energy.”

Mayor Catherine Fournier of Longueuil extended a warm welcome to H55: “The arrival of H55 in Longueuil not only strengthens our positioning in the aerospace sector, but marks a significant milestone in our journey toward establishing an innovation zone duly recognized by Quebec. It also sends the clear message that Longueuil intends to play a leading role in the decarbonization of aviation.”

Martin Larose, H55 chief executive officer. Photo

“Today marks a monumental step forward in our journey towards a cleaner, more sustainable future in aviation,” shared H55 co-founder and executive chairman, André Borschberg. “With the support we are fortunate to have from the governments of Quebec and Canada, together with our shared commitment to clean aviation, we will soar to new heights, reducing our environmental footprint and ensuring cleaner skies for generations to come.”

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